Managing an Instagram account on behalf of a business can be challenging, especially when you are representing the voice that connects with your consumers or audiences online. Content marketing is so multi-faceted, and so it can be a struggle to go through lists of hashtags every day, when you have a multitude of tasks to get done. It’s also hard as a Social Media Manager to find the time to implement the right hashtag strategy, if you don’t yet understand the full potential reward of using the correct hashtags for your account.
If you’re reading this and you’re still not 100% sure on if using hashtags are worth it, let’s quickly cover some of the key reasons you need to be using them in 2020.
Why hashtags can’t be slept on 😳
Hashtags are a valuable tool to up the ROI of your social activities by capturing new audiences that might not have otherwise heard of your brand.
Instagram cares about its user experience (alot) and want to push the most relevant content to the correct audiences – hashtags help Instagram understand what your account and content is about, so by using high quality and relevant hashtags, you can help Instagram help you.
#1 Create a simple hashtag strategy that’s easy to execute 📈
When you’re just getting started, you want to follow a strategy that helps you succeed. Not something that adds stress to your workload!
Firstly, make sure you’re avoiding the common mistakes people make when it comes to using hashtags.
- To get the results you want, you should be ranking in the ‘top posts’ section of a hashtag, so think of this as your ‘goal’ with every post.
- You also need to use hashtags that are the right size for your account, and make sense in relation to the content you post to better your chances of ranking.
- Always use 30 hashtags per post
- Don’t use flagged/banned hashtags
Start with the end in mind 🕵️
Secondly, create your hashtag lists ahead of time and organize them in a way that makes using hashtags easy when it comes to posting.
Start by drawing up a list of hashtags or keywords that are relevant to the type of content you post. Base this on what people would search for on Instagram, if they were trying to find content like yours.
Once you have these initial lists, it’s time to talk strategy for hashtags – a word we know you’ll love as a social media manager! The easiest way to do this is by linking your Instagram account to Flick, and turning on Suggested Filters. If you don’t already have a Flick account you can start a 7-day free trial to help you!
This means when you start searching, our tool will automatically give you hashtags that you are likely to rank on, based on your account analytics.
Start by searching the hashtags on the lists you’ve created, to get relevant hashtags to these keywords that you are more likely to rank on. Save these into different collections, based on the posts you’re going to make in the future – and voila, your strategy is off the ground.
To learn more deeply about the analytics you can consider as well as some additional tips for creating a simple hashtag strategy, take a look at this article.
But remember, building a hashtag strategy is a marathon not a sprint, get started with something simple and optimise your results as you go and learn more about hashtags.
#2 Using branded hashtags for increased awareness 👋
A branded or campaign hashtag is one of your best friends when it comes to fleshing out your image beyond your website, advertisements or press coverage. By implementing a solid branded hashtag, you not only create an image bank for which valued customers can tag their content into, but you also provide a recognizable tagline that people can reach when they feature your product or service. This is also essential when you collaborate with other creators, as it brands the post that they share as part of your campaign partnership. It’s a softer way of reaching your consumers, as it allows an influencer’s audience to independently check out all of the content posted in that hashtag, rather than being directed to your page first.
Pick a hashtag that fits well with the name, feel and tone of the brand you are representing. You can also have fun with campaign hashtags when you release new products, or initiate launches, making posts instantly recognizable and associated with your brand.
#3 Benchmark your hashtag performance 💡
Another way to increase your reach via hashtags is by looking around you. As a social media manager, it’s likely you will have a list of competitor accounts that you look to, to see what other people are posting in your industry or vertical. Just like you would benchmark your performance in terms of the type of content you are posting, you can benchmark your performance in terms of the type of hashtags you are using. If an account within your industry has great engagement in comparison to their following, try and take a look at the types of hashtags they use when they post.
Draw up a list of some of the key hashtags you see, that are also relevant to the type of content you produce. You can use these as the basis of your hashtag research in Flick, which will suggest niche, high-performing hashtags tailored to your account.
#3 Stay relevant 📲
We say it all the time, but it’s important that the hashtags you use are relevant to the content you post. If you are the social media manager for a tech company, for example, you want to specifically reach audiences that are interested in tech. If someone searches for the hashtag ‘#howtoSEO’ for example, they are specifically looking for resources on Instagram that will help them improve their SEO strategy. Take a look at the consumer profiles your team has drawn up, and start to think about what they might search when they are using Instagram hashtags. Put yourself in their shoes, and apply this to your hashtag strategy.
TIP: If you haven’t drawn up consumer profiles based on your Instagram strategy, communicate with the rest of your marketing team. Ask them for their consumer profiles so you can stay aligned on who you are targeting and make sure your work is facilitating your wider goal.
Once you have done this, you should have a good baseline in terms of what kind of hashtags you can start with, that are relevant to each post you make.
#4 Organization is key 📁
As a social media manager, excel sheets and calendars are probably familiar arsenals in your toolbelt, in order to stay organized and this also applies to hashtags. Categorizing your hashtags into Collections will help you save time, whilst also increasing your reach and potential for new followers.
On Flick, you can create Collections of hashtags based on a number of elements, that you can easily access and copy-paste into your captions or comments when you go to post. This means, once you have done your research and organized your hashtag sets, you will have better-performing hashtags stored in an app or on your desktop.
The way that you categorize your hashtags can determine the number of people you reach and our users often differentiate the way they make collections. Some make collections based on content type. For example, if you are managing an account in the fashion niche, you might have different Collections of hashtags for menswear, streetwear or womenswear. If you categorize your hashtags based on content type, then you should make sure to include a mix of low competition, medium competition and high competition hashtags in each individual set.
#5 Know the hashtag metrics that improve your performance 📊
Another way that you can categorize your hashtags is by looking at their competitiveness in relation to your account. This can be shown using a number of hashtag metrics, such as Average Likes, DAPC (Daily Average Post Count), and Total Posts.
Average likes: The average number of likes that the posts within a certain hashtag have.
DAPC: The daily average number of posts made in to a hashtag (averaged over the previous 7-day period)
Total Posts: The number of posts shared into a hashtag overall.
Get more into metrics and read about the 9 essential KPIs for improving your hashtag strategy here.
Depending on what you post, you can categorize your Collections by their competitiveness in relation to your account to ensure you are posting an equal level of hashtags of competitive and non-competitive hashtags to give your content the best chance.
#6 Take your time and enjoy mastering a new skill 👍
This is just another skill that you can add to your laundry list of tactics for social media success. It’s fun to get into hashtag strategy and start to see the results with the accounts you manage, and it’s easy and simple to get started.
Once you’ve begun you can continue to optimize what you already have built out, and continue to add and revise the top performing hashtags for your account, as you grow. If you need more hashtag intel, or just a more in-depth explanation of how you can improve your reach using hashtags, take a look at the bank of resources we have on offer, for free. And, if you want to get your initial search off the ground, you can sign up for a 7-day free trial with Flick, here.